All Stories, General Fiction

Caesar’s Shade by Larry Lefkowitz

Adkins sat looking at the latest videolazered spread of the soon to be launched Pandora Perfume advertizing campaign when Cardin burst into the room. “Julius Caesar – I’ve got a lead on Caesar!”

“Where?” Cardin’s boss half rose from his chair. “Everybody in the ad biz is after Caesar’s shade.”

“Quadrant four,” Cardin shot back.

Adkins whistled. “It’ll be difficult to get him back from there.”

“’Difficult’ isn’t the word,” agreed Cardin. “But Galaxy Cola is – you will pardon the expression –dead set on Caesar.”

“Can you blame them? Julius Caesar holding a glass of Galaxy and saying, ‘I came, I saw, I Galaxied.’ Though I haven’t ruled out, ‘I came, I saw, I was conquered by Galaxy.’

“Your call, boss, but the way I visualize it, it should be Caesar and Brutus. Brutus is holding a Galaxy and so is Caesar. Caesar says to Brutus, ’You, too, Brutus!’ ”

“It will be hard enough to get our hands-on Caesar’s shade without trying to corral Brutus, too. And without Caesar’s shade Galaxy Cola won’t sign a multi-million media package. To quote Galaxy’s president, “No shade, no deal.”

“So, go for it.”

You go for it – shade retrieval is your specialty.”

“I’ll get right on it.”

Adkins leaned back in his seat. “Sometimes I wonder how I got into this crazy biz, anyhow.”

“Think of the bright side. Someday your shade might appear in an ad.”

“An ad exec’s dream. Still, I preferred the old days before the stiff competition took hold.”

Cardin groaned. “You can blame the Coke campaign in the 20th century. Started resurrecting dead musicians and actors – on film in those days. You remember, the ad with the singer and the trumpeter and those two actors –I forgot their names. I’m not too good on the early days of advertising.”

“Bogart and . . . somebody,” said Adkins.

“Yeah, that was relatively easy,” replied Cardin. “Nowadays they want the shade itself. Live – or almost so. And so we have to gather the old fellows and gals. Those from the last couple of hundred years aren’t a problem. It’s those historical figures from millennia past that really are a headache. Next thing you know the clients will be calling for religious figures – Methuselah holding a Galaxy and saying, ‘You’re never too old for a Galaxy.’ “

“It’ll come, Frank, and sooner than you think,” said Adkins, picking up a Galaxy and sipping it. He made a sour face, “This stuff must go down easy only with the young generation.”

“I’ll try to land us a booze account.”

“Do it. Jack Daniels is a lot easier to get hold of than Julius Caesar. But I treat seriously your remark that religious figures are the next wave. The competition makes it inevitable.”

“Over my dead body,” protested Cardin. There is a limit.”

“The limit is the clientele demand. The religious charity segment will jump on it.”

“It’s too risky.”

“We’re ok for the present – Julius doesn’t offend anyone. Let me know when you’ve got him.”

If I get him.”

“Get him.” Or you’ll be back on the Girl Scout Cookies campaign. And then you’ll have to retrieve Annie Oakley.”

“The gal with a mouth to match her gun. I’d prefer even Caesar’s wearying orations. I’ll get on bringing him at once, boss.”

“And Frank, lay off trying to pump Julius for ribald Roman jokes. The shades –especially the ego types – can be testy.”

“No problem. My Latin is a bit rusty. A dead language, you know.”

An almost empty Galaxy Cola glass together with the remnants of the elixir itself impacted on Cardin’s solar plexus.

“A pity, boss. You know that stuff is ‘good to the last drop.’”

Adkins made a face as wry as if he had just sipped a Galaxy.


Larry Lefkowitz

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4 thoughts on “Caesar’s Shade by Larry Lefkowitz”

  1. Hi Larry,
    You continue to give us thoughtful and superbly written stories.
    The humour in this was clinical which suited the subject!
    All the very best my friend.


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